Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dispensationalism Makes Sense…part 2


You went on to say, ‘Bearing in mind that not only did Peter, James & John all think the 2nd coming of Christ would happen in their lifetime (based on what Jesus said in Matt.24:34), but evidently so did Paul (based on his teachings on the Rapture, especially in 2 Thess. Ch. 2.)’ 

Let’s deal with that.  When you talk about Peter, James and John and the second coming, and then mention Paul in that same line of thinking, again let’s make it clear that when Peter, James and John speak of the second coming of Jesus Christ, they are speaking of him according to the prophetic program.

Acts 3:21
Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

This was part of that Jewish kingdom program.  So when they speak of the second coming of Jesus Christ, they mean his actual advent to this earth.

Zechariah 14:4a
And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east,

In Acts 1 when the Lord Jesus Christ ascends up into the clouds, two angels speak to the 11 apostles (Judas was dead and Matthias hadn’t been appointed yet).

Acts 1:11
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

They are talking about his literal, physical coming to this earth when he will set up his throne.  You have to always rightly divide the second coming.  This is important because most believers and professing Christians have not been taught to rightly divide. The second coming that Peter, James and John taught is the Lord’s second advent to this earth.

Matthew 24:30
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Matthew 25:31
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory [on this earth]:

But when it comes to Paul and the second coming that he talks about, the Lord Jesus Christ is not coming to the earth; we will meet him in the air.  You mentioned 2 Thessalonians 2, and some of that has to do with the rapture.  But in 1Thessalonians 4…

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.   For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

…he doesn’t come down to the earth; but rather we are caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  Ours is a heavenly calling for heavenly places; we meet the Lord in the clouds in the air.  That is the second coming for the body of Christ.  That is part of the mystery program given to Paul.

Romans 16:25
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

Ephesians 3:3
How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words

Ephesians 6:19
And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

Colossians 1:26
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

That is how the dispensation of grace ends.  So when you talk about the “second coming” in regard to Peter, James and John think:  “Christ coming back to this earth (years after the rapture).”  When you talk about the second coming based upon Paul’s epistles and doctrine, Pauline dispensationalism makes sense.  We meet the Lord in the air.  That has to be clear.

The goal of 2 Thessalonians is not to deal with the rapture or with things in this dispensation.   Paul needed to write to the saints (including us) to explain something about the future.  The theme, focus or topic of the book is the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7); the 70th week of Daniel (Dan. 9:27); the great tribulation (Matt. 24:21); things that are future.  The focus is not on the dispensation of grace; he is explaining something about the Anti-Christ and things that will happen in the future.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

The Lord will descend from heaven with a shout and we which are alive and remain will be caught up (his coming and our gathering together - the reunion of the body of Christ) at the rapture at the end of the dispensation of grace.  That is how it ends; it is a mystery; it is secret. 

Paul is using that event to beseech them so that they won’t be worried.  He is saying that they are all worried about the prophetic day of the Lord Jesus’ coming, but they shouldn’t worry because we will all be gone.  So we have to get that straight first.

To be continued…

Click here for "Dispensationalism Makes Sense, part 3"

No comments:

Post a Comment